Look, you. Yes, you! You there, sneering down your considerable nose at me. I SNEER RIGHT BACK. WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
I deserve a job. I'll take literally any job. Admittedly, I might be abusing the already abused word "literally" there, because when I say "any job," I actually mean "not any job." I know, it's confusing, but bear with me.
In fact, what I want you to do is hold your hands out in front of you, palms facing one another, about shoulder width apart. Got it? Great.
Did I ever tell you about the time I did an exam in blackface? Inadvertent, involuntary blackface might I add. The space between your hands (apologies if you've only the one arm by the way, but there was no way I could have known) represents the infinite realm of "jobs" out there—as in "literally any job." Okay, terrific. Now, take your hands and slowly guide them towards one another (seriously though, there was no way I could have known) until they're just about touching.
Excellent! You've now formed the spectrum of actual jobs I want, or think I'm entitled to.
Slim isn't it? You might as well mash your palms together because the "job" I seem to be looking for is "Lazy Daydreamer," and I'm pretty sure that job doesn't exist. Other job titles in this exceedingly slim sphere would be "Head of Procrastination" and "Chief Masturbator." If anything, I'm over-qualified.
I can't do that job, or that job. God no, I won't do that job either. Who do you think I am? I've got a shitty degree I half-assed my way through for God's sake!
And before anyone thinks I'm attacking students and/or graduates in general, I'm really not. I'm an insular and selfish person, particularly in my writing, and I'm just writing about my disdain for me, Mike "Chief" Bellinger. If you can relate to this, great—well I mean, not great in the sense that you're probably farting all over your future, but you get the gist.
I want what's coming to me, but I'm not trying hard enough… I'm aware this is getting rather depressing. Let's trail off….
Did I ever tell you about the time I did an exam in blackface? Inadvertent, involuntary blackface might I add. I was 14 and waiting with my peers, many who held me in high regard (and many who still do), to file into the exam hall. I was probably commanding a group of adoring fans of my humor with one of my legendary tall tales, or maybe impressing some of my fellow cool kids with my ball skills (soccer), when it happened: a yobbo, a youth, a complete bastard, dumped a full tin of chocolate powder over my head.
Disorientated from the thick fog of cheap chocolate powder, I staggered about, blindly swinging lefts and rights, a flurry here, a jab there, not finding a target. I clawed at my eyes, dislodging from them thick heaps of chocolate powder. Bleary-eyed, I looked for the culprit, but I never did find one. As I threw my gaze around the playground, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a nearby window and instantly felt myself taking on a new identity. I was morphing before my very eyes. I'd seen lots of American movies, you see, and I decided that now was as good a time as ever to do my "black man from American films" impression.
And so it came to be that I roamed the playground repeating the phrase "Sheeeeiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit," doing cool handshakes with fellow students, the air growing thicker with brown powder with each high-five as it eroded from my hands. "This is who I am now," I remember thinking. "This is great." And then, just as I was about to try out my first "N-word," I was hauled away by the headmaster.
Okay, so none of that last bit happened, but I did get chocolate powder dumped over me. It's even in my diary from that year, which I half-heartedly kept for about four months: "Some prick from another class threw chocolate powder all over me. Right before we went in for the exam. I stunk of chocolate."
You know what did happen though? Since I was understandably annoyed about being covered in chocolate powder against my will, I decided to teach the chocolate culprit, whoever he was, a lesson by giving the best damn exam performance ever! And sure enough, I rinsed it! I got the best mark I had ever received. It got better: I eventually found out who the chocolate culprit was because I bullied other kids into snitching. I beat the chocolate culprit up and then found out he'd flunked the exam himself. What a fucking loser! I told a teacher that the chocolate culprit had masturbated onto my head and the bloody idiot got chucked out of school. He was so humiliated. I was left standing proud and everybody thought I was great.
Okay so none of that last part happened either. I was initially going to lie and claim that the chocolate incident motivated me, thus moving this article into a piece on the power of motivation, or lack thereof. But it's pretty unlikely for an incident like that to motivate you. If anything, I just wanted to go straight home.
The fact is though is that motivation is an odd thing. It comes and goes. Today I've been very motivated and achieved a lot.
But there are days when I don't even try, and that's the worst part.